Playing goalkeeper should not mean standing on the goal line and hoping to save the ball that is fired at you. I believe that you really have to go out and get the ball. The role of the goalkeeper is not only to save the ball, but to set up the play for your team in an attacking manner. With no offside you will find that loose balls into the circle occur more often in a game, thus giving the goalkeeper greater opportunities to be involved in the play.
The main way to do this is by using the safe and reliable method of using the instep save. It is important to have the correct technique to do this. Here are some important general points that may help you to perfect this technique.
- Begin in the attacking stance:
- Weight slightly forward on the balls of your toes
- Knees slightly bent to assist with weight forward
- Hands up in a comfortable position ready to make the high save
- Watch the ball from the time that it leaves the stick all the way to your foot.
- Rotate the ankle so that the foot is pointing outwards.
- Contact with the ball should be made slightly forward of the original attacking stance, with the foot rotated to get the ball wide.
- Similar to a putter swing, it is important that the kick has a back swing as well as a follow through of about equal distance.
- Line the balls up to the side of the goal on a right angle to the goal line. The ball must be delivered to the foot closest to the goal line ensuring that the instep kick is used.
- Have your coach or player stand with a few balls straight out in front of the goal with you in the goal. The object of this is to use the instep kick to direct the ball back to the person pushing the ball at you. This ensures that you will get good consistent accuracy, thus enabling you to control rebounds in a direction that you can set up attacking play for your team.
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Two good ways to practice accuracy for the instep kick are:
A good way to practice this with your coach is too have her/him roll the balls into the circle, with you clearing the balls to specific areas. During this drill it is important that you meet the ball and vary the direction and speed of the ball.
It can help to call out which position you are passing the ball to, i.e. Right Half, Fullback, Centre Half and so on. This will make sure that you have the direction that you require to create attacking opportunities for your team.
Alternatively you can set out cones so that you have something to aim at.
An important thing to remember when imagining doing this is to try to think of yourself as a soccer player passing to ball to your team members.
Good luck with this attacking goal keeping. As you read this OBO is developing gear that will make being an attacking goalkeeper easier. I am currently using the new third generation Robo Hi-Rebound kickers, which has allowed me to get even stronger clearances. When you use the Hi-Rebound technology it is important that you concentrate hard on your basic skills to get the most benefit. After all, we all hate getting penalty corners called against us for lifted rebounds that aren't even dangerous.
Good luck with the keeping!
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